After a strong start to the year and three consecutive months of gains, Canadian manufacturing sales decreased 3.3 per cent in February. Sales were dragged lower by declines in 16 of 21 industries with most of the fall in sales due to the motor vehicle parts, petroleum and coal products and aerospace industries.
In BC, where the manufacturing sector employs approximately 170,000 people, sales declined 0.6 per cent on a monthly basis and fell 2.2 per cent year-over-year. Struggling economies in neighboring provinces, a slower than expected first quarter in the United States and the ongoing slowdown in China are all key factors in lower demand for BC manufacturing products. The export and manufacturing sector is the one area of the otherwise strong BC economy that is clearly lagging and that trend is expected to last for much of 2016. However, a pick up in economic growth in the United States following a slow start to the year should boost demand later this year.
Copyright BCREA – Reprinted with permission